Sunday, 3 June 2018

Derbyshire v Lancashire RLODC

Lancashire 290-8 (Livingstone 86. Olivier 2-36)

Derbyshire 265-8 (Godleman 75, Viljoen 50*, Slater 46)

Lancashire won by 25 runs

There was a degree of consternation on social media when Derbyshire won the toss and elected to bat today, but I was in full agreement on that.

For one thing, any help there might be (negligible) would have been there first thing, while we would then know what was a winning score.

We didn't help our cause with a couple of dropped catches, and the out fielding was apparently more sloppy than of recent times. 290 could and should have been 260, but we weren't at our best today and it cost us.

By and large the bowlers did well, on a fine batting track. I thought Viljoen slipped himself for the first time this summer, the rhythm was right and there were some fast, hostile balls. He could have had the excellent Livingstone early, Smit's acrobatic attempt getting finger tips to an edge, round about second slip, but Hardus had a good all round game.

Rampaul also bowled a canny spell, but Olivier was the pick of the seamers. His closing spell was in Langeveldt class, giving the batsmen little to hit, bowling quick and short and doing an excellent job. When the batsmen tried to back away, he followed them. He only conceded six runs from his final two overs, aided by a superb catch by Alex Hughes to dismiss Joe Mennie. It was a fine effort, as was Wayne Madsen's spell, which dragged it back when 350 looked on the cards at one point. 203-3 in 36 overs became 290-8, and that was a decent job.

It should have been within our compass and when Godleman and Slater yet again led off with a big stand, the chase looked well and truly on. Yet the advent of spin simply strangled the life out of the Derbyshire innings. It was a classic case of role reversal from Northampton - very much the biter bit. Should we have batted first on winning the toss? Only if we were again going to pick Hamidullah Qadri, whose control might have been useful.

Lancashire bowled 29 overs of spin and it killed our innings. A little bit of slap at the end of the innings from Hardus Viljoen made the scores closer than they really were, but we were well out of the running today.

Of course, the needless and crazy run out that cost us Wayne Madsen didn't help, given he is the best player of spin in the side by a country mile. No one else got going, nor, crucially, did they look like doing so, until Viljoen's late blast.

It is easy after the event, of course, but why he was kept back in the order, when the less dynamic Smit and Brodrick used up seven overs is a moot point. Hardus won't always make runs, but he will either do so quickly, or get out equally fast in the attempt. We needed quick runs and declined to use the man most likely to get them until too late.

At the end of it all we lost and must now go into the cauldron of Trent Bridge and win to progress in this competition.

It isn't impossible, but the small gains we could have made today - holding catches, being better in the field, not losing silly wickets - have got to be improved upon.

Otherwise a hiding awaits.


jasper said...

KB said on commentary today (during the opening partnership) that we had prepared an "anti Lancashire" pitch i.e one to counteract their strong spin attack...

Mark said...

We're still missing that big hitter, the one who can score runs quickly to boot, aren't we?. Whilst we may have some good batsmen none of them can score quickly enough. Reece might have made a big difference today, but it's a case of what if again. Can't see anything but a thrashing at Botts I'm afraid, but still some positives to take from this Royal London cup.

Mark Neve said...

99/100 I agree with Peakfan but I can’t agree with us bowling first. It felt wrong at the time. Felt wrong when Livingstone was motoring and does anyone seriously back us to chase 290? Even at 100-0 I was nervous. That shot by Slater after a 6 was needless. The run out well less said the better. Hughes looked a bad mistimed shot. Critchley lost his patience and at that point it felt all over. Even at 100-0 the run rate was just about on target if not a tad behind. Their spinners bowled well but we batted awfully. Credit to Viljoen who helped the bet run rate but as Peakfan was hinting at the final score flattered is. We could have been 200 all out which would have been 100-10. Collapse of epic proportions. I don’t think we are well suited to chase. I am sorry if that offends people but we seem likely to choke. With the ball I think it’s easier. Even if we batted and got 220 all out I would have had some hope we could win. We were lucky we weren’t chasing 320-330 at one point and I just feel in a big game like that we have shot ourselves in the foot.

N said...

Hmm. Some fairly strange decision making as much as ability cost us dearly. The quick trio bowled very well but were sometimes let down by sloppy ground fielding and dropped catches. Not sure on decision to bowl first, it was a good wicket and hot. Selection wise questions remain on what role brodrick has been given. The only evidence I have is to make up the numbers so far as he didn't bowl and batted very low. The middle overs of us getting deeply bogged down seemed to last for an eternity. Critch was clearly not playing to his strengths and out of frustration lashed half heartedly at one and was caught. Why was a player (Viljoen) who is capable of some clean hitting and aggression watching us slip out of contention in the players balcony? We were jew this type of result based on our lack of critical thinking.

Tim, Chesterfield said...

Our lack of squad strength has been shown up here. I’ve nothing against young Brodrick but he strikes me as a ‘bits and pieces’ cricketer who isn’t going to influence games at this level. His stats in local cricket aren’t even that good - we should have played Dan Wheeldon or found a proper batsman to in the top 5.

The comments about being nervous at 100/0 are duly noted but the truth is we should have coasted home. Other than the openers none of the top 7 seem capable of ticking the scoreboard over and hitting the bad balls to the fence.

It’s a shame but I fear a tanking at Trent Bridge now.

Phil said...

Agree, Peakfan. I also feel that a middle order big-hitter" is lacking and that is what I am hoping the 2nd Blast signing will be. On that subject, the competition starts in just over 5 weeks - I suspect that the options available now are thin.
Re Notts, don't be surprised by a win there. Trent Bridge will suit our seamers I suspect.

IanC said...

Interesting comments from Godleman after the match,especially when read in conjunction with the comments allegedly said by KB during commentary (i didn't listen so couldn't confirm). Apparently the request was for a pitch that would hopefully negate the lancs sides strong spin options,and on winning the toss ,thought that any help in the pitch would be in the first hour.,and after that get harder and flatter. As it happened,that didn't happen,and as BG said,after the game,it just didn't play as they had expected it too,and with the benefit of hindsight they should have batted first. An honest mistake to make especially if you had wanted a pitch that would minimally help spin. I also think that considering most of the other counties have access to a far bigger cricketing budget and run with larger staff numbers,that we have done well to still be in the running to qualify with one game to go,frustrating though it is to get so close,and having played a lot of very good cricket. Bill and Ben have generally done so well in this competition that we have rarely needed most of the other batters to also make significant contributions themselves,and Reeces injury is proving to be one that we could ill afford as his contribution to all 3 disciplines has been significant and we don't have anything similar on the staff. Of course its disappointing,but as long as we give off our best you won't find any complaining from me.

Doug said...

The fact they dropped Brodrick down and down the order speaks volumes. They might as well pick HH, and have 3 wicker keepers in the side. That also speaks volumes about the imbalance in the squad.

jasper said...

Trust me KB definitely said they had prepared a pitch to counter their spinners which clearly explains the decision to bowl first so either we didn't get that type of wicket (possible) or we are just not very good against slow bowling and/or couldnt handle the pressure.

As peakfan mentioned, the loss of our best player of spin to a needless run out didn't help.

Mark Neve said...

Good to see BG admitted it was the wrong call. I think we’ve been to clever for our own good there with the pitch. Backfired badly.

notoveryet said...

Mark makes a good point about being too clever for our own good, and we would perhaps have been better to concentrate on our own strengths rather than the opposition's. Whether it's been our choice or not in most matches this year, we've done pretty well batting first, and it was surprising that we departed from this here. In Godleman's defence, it's only this year that we've been doing well batting first - last year, we won 4 and lost 6 batting first, compared to won 6 and lost 5 batting second. whatever the statistics say, though, I feel that there's a lack of composure about Derbyshire chasing when they lose early wickets or fall behind the rate which isn't as evident when we're batting first. It's been accentuated this year by the poor form of the middle order that has been disguised by the superb form of Godleman and Slater.

I think some of the comments about Derbyshire's fielding are a bit unfair. A couple of the drops were extremely difficult and perhaps only became chances because of the speed of the fielder (Brodick on both occasions I think), although there ere a couple of poor drops and a glaring missed leg-side stumping. I have to say that I didn't find many people who didn't think, like me, that 290 was more than achievable, particularly when we'd put up 100 for the first wicket, and perhaps some of the negative comments have a touch of hindsight about them. We're now dependent on beating Notts, and hoping that other resuts go our way. Notts look as if they might be repeating what they did last year, starting badly, qualifying for the knock-out stage by the skin of their teeth, before going on to win it. They look as if they are on a roll now, and it's going to take a mighty performance on Thursday to stop them.

It may be that all we will take from the RLODC is lessons for the T20, and the form of the middle order is a massive concern. The batting order has rarely seemed right, and pretty much all that has been contributed by numbers 3 to 7 have been the odd cameo. You have to trust from his record that Madsen will find some consistent form although there's a nagging worry for me that the decline in his 4 day batting is now starting to show in his one day form. Critchley hasn't really been shown to his best advantage, although he also hasn't taken opportunities when they've been available, and Brodick has barely had a chance to show what he can do. But Wilson, Hughes and Smit have been a huge disappointment apart from a single gutsy performance each, and in the last couple of games when there has been an opportunity to play significant innings, none of them have been able to do so. It's all very well saying they are the kind of characters the team needs, but their lack of runs can't be disguised. The risk we face is going in to the T20 with a middle order comprising a specialist captain, part-time bowler, specialist wicket-keeper and specialist fielder.

Particularly if Reece is going to miss much of the T20, I think the focus for the second overseas player needs now to be a batsman, even if it wasn't already.